Spring Training Game Six – Cubs 4 Royals 5
WP – Blaine Hardy (1-0) LP – Sean Marshall (0-1) Save – Steven Shell (1)
Q’s crew lost for the fifth time in six games Friday afternoon. The Cubs took a 4-0 lead into the sixth thanks to a huge day by Tyler Colvin and a run scoring triple by Starlin Castro. Colvin made his professional debut at first base and responded with a 3-for-3 afternoon that include a RBI double and a home run. Colvin drove in three of the Cubs four runs, all with two-strike hits.
Starlin Castro plated the Cubs third run with a triple in the fifth and scored the fourth and final run on Colvin’s double.
Matt Garza made the start, his first of the spring, and put together a good outing before leaving the game an inning early. Jeff Francoeur hit a smash back up the middle in the second that hit Garza in the ribs. Garza completed the inning before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Garza showed a lot of improvement from his first outing and allowed only one hit in two innings of work.
After Garza left the game, he finished getting his work in down in the pen. Garza spoke with the media during the game and downplayed the incident.
Garza said he was fine and the tattoos he has on his ribs will camouflage the bruise he will likely have Saturday. Garza said nothing was broken and he was able to throw the remaining number of pitches he needed to keep him on track for the season.
Garza did not throw any breaking balls again … just fastballs and changeups. Garza indicated that he is working on locating his fastball and that his breaking pitches work off his fastball location. Garza said he would not throw any breaking stuff until his fourth or fifth spring start.
The only negative for Garza on Friday afternoon … someone forgot his jersey and he had to wear no. 94.
The Cubs bullpen put together a solid afternoon, with one exception.
John Gaub could not find the strike zone. At one point Gaub threw nine straight balls and walked the bases loaded. One of the top prospects in the game made Gaub pay for his wildness.
Eric Hosmer tied the game with a grand slam off Gaub in the sixth before Sean Marshall gave up a run in the seventh to take the loss.
Kerry Wood and Alberto Cabrera threw smoke Friday afternoon. Both relievers hit the upper 90s with their fastball. Cabrera tossed two innings of shutout ball, while Wood retired all three batters he faced.
Jeff Samardzija had one of his best outings in a long time. Samardzija retired all four batters he faced.
For the first time this spring the Cubs defense did not commit an error … and Tyler Colvin made all of the plays he needed to at first base.
The Cubs lost another meaningless game but at least they took steps as a team in the right direction …
Matt Garza retired the Royals in order in the first on 10 pitches, nine for strikes. Garza gave up a single to Billy Butler in the second before getting hit in the ribs by Jeff Francoeur. Starlin Castro barehanded the ball that hit off Garza and threw out Francoeur at first.
Garza retired Alex Gordon on a groundout to short and Brayan Pena flied out to left center to end the inning.
The Cubs added to their lead in the third.
Max Ramirez hit for Garza and walked to start the inning. Kosuke Fukudome grounded out to first. Butler stepped on the bag and threw to second but Ramirez sled in safe ahead of the tag. Butler then robbed Castro of an extra base hit down the right field line with a diving catch.
With two outs and a 0-2 count, Colvin delivered a single to center that plated Ramirez from second. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead with Colvin’s second RBI of the game.
While Matt Garza finished his day in the bullpen, Alberto Cabrera made his spring debut.
Cabrera retired the Royals in order in the third on 14 pitches, nine for strikes. Cabrera’s fastball hit 96 MPH on the gun in the third.
Billy Butler recorded the only hit off Cabrera … a two-out single in the fourth. Cabrera threw nine pitches in the fourth, five for strikes.
Matt Camp hit for Cabrera and led off the fifth with a single to left. After Kosuke Fukudome flied out to left, Starlin Castro ripped a 2-1 pitch into center. Camp scored on Castro’s triple.
Ned Yost pulled his infield in and Colvin took advantage. Colvin ripped an 0-2 pitch down the right field line to plate Castro with the Cubs’ fourth and final run.
Mike Quade made wholesale changes in the bottom of the sixth. John Gaub took the hill and could not throw strikes.
Gaub issued a leadoff walk to Alcides Escobar before striking out Lorenzo Cain on a 3-2 pitch. Gaub then issued back-to-back walks to Mitch Maier and Mike Moustakas on eight pitches. With the bases loaded and one out, Eric Hosmer worked the count to 3-2 before launching a homer over the right field wall. Hosmer’s slam tied the game at four and ended Gaub’s afternoon.
Gaub threw 29 pitches, 11 for strikes.
Sean Marshall came in and got out of the inning. Marshall hit Alex Gordon but did not allow a run … until the seventh.
Joaquin Arias led off the seventh with a single to center. Cody Clark sacrificed him to second. Lorenzo Cain grounded out to Josh Vitters at third but Mitch Maier blooped a single into center that gave the Royals a 5-4 lead.
The Cubs host the Padres Saturday afternoon. Andrew Cashner is slated to make his first start of the spring.